CONTAMINATED WATER. Health authorities in Negros Oriental are urging people to boil their water before drinking amid rains and floods that contaminate water pipes. The advice came as the Provincial Health Office reported an increase in cases of typhoid fever in the province. (PNA file photo by Judy Flores Partlow)

DUMAGUETE CITY – Health authorities in Negros Oriental are trying to contain the rise in typhoid fever cases in the province which have more than doubled from last year’s figures, a health official said Wednesday.

Dr. Liland Estacion, provincial health officer, said the province logged a total of 347 typhoid cases with four deaths from Jan. 1 to Oct. 22 this year.

This is 121 percent higher than the 157 cases and zero deaths during the same period last year, she said.

The top five areas with the highest cases are Guihulngan City with 80; Bayawan City, 37; Dumaguete City, 36; Ayungon, 26; and Canlaon City, 21.

The rest of the towns and cities had 20 or fewer cases.

The mortalities were reported in Guihulngan City with two and Dumaguete City and Bayawan City, one each.

Estacion said the reason for the increase in typhoid cases is contaminated water.

“In Guihulngan City, we have seen that due to rains and flooding, their water system has been contaminated,” she said in mixed English and Cebuano.

The Guihulngan City Health Office, in cooperation with the Provincial Health Office, distributed food packs, jerry cans, water purification tablets, and medicines, to residents, she said.

Typhoid fever is a bacterial infection caused by the Salmonella typhi bacteria spread through contaminated food or water.

Estacion urged residents to boil their water before drinking, especially in areas with a high incidence of typhoid fever. (PNA)